Special Chabad auction in honor of the yahrzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn on the 3rd of Tamuz and in honor of the Chag HaGeulah on the 12th-13th of Tamuz of Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn - the Rayatz of Lubavitch
This auction features letters and rare items of Chabad Rebbes and of their wives, the rebbetzins.
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Rare Letter from Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch – Rostov-on-Don, 1924 – Addressed to R. Azriel Zelig Slonim, "Your ...
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Rare Letter from Rebbe Rayatz of Lubavitch – Rostov-on-Don, 1924 – Addressed to R. Azriel Zelig Slonim, "Your Merited to be in His Holy Presence, and That is Your Advantage… And You Merited Hearing the Holy Sayings… With This Power You Must Act and Accomplish… May G-d Come to Your Assistance"
Letter from Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn – the Rayatz of Lubavitch, with his signature. [Rostov-on-Don], Wednesday 18th Tevet 1923.
Handwritten by a scribe (by the secretary R. Elchanan – Chonye – Marozov), concluding with several words handwritten by Rebbe Rayatz, with his full signature – "Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn".
Addressed to his relative R. Azriel Zelig Slonim – "My upright, respected and elevated relative", who was planning, several months after his wedding, to establish a soft drink plant in Jerusalem for his livelihood. Upon receiving this letter, R. Azriel Zelig abandoned these plans and set out on a worldwide mission on behalf of the Rayatz, to disseminate Judaism and bring distant Jews closer to the wellsprings of Chassidut.
At the beginning of the letter, the Rayatz reminds R. Azriel Zelig Slonim of the time he spent studying in the Tomchei Temimim yeshiva in Lubavitch, when he was a household member of his father Rebbe Rashab and ate at the rebbe's table on Shabbat and festivals: "Behold, you had the merit of being in his holy presence, and that is your advantage over your fellow Temimim in the Holy Land… you also had the merit of hearing holy teachings, since that is what man is about, to act and accomplish to raise the prestige of Torah and glorify it, through the service of the heart which is prayer, with true efforts to banish and exterminate any negative character trait from his heart, and to acquire good character traits such as love for his fellow etc"; the Rayatz therefore instructs him further in the letter, that in the merit of the Chassidic teachings he absorbed from the Rashab and the impression it made on his soul and character traits, he must go out and disseminate Chassidut: "And with this strength of yours, you must act and accomplish… to arouse the hearts of our fellow Chassidim and bring them closer to true worship of G-d. May G-d come to your assistance".
At the end of the letter, the Rayatz added in his own handwriting: "One who seeks his wellbeing and blesses him", and signed with his full signature: "Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn".
R. Azriel Zelig Slonim (1897-1971), a leading Chabad activist, member of Agudas Chassidei Chabad and director of Kollel Chabad. He was the founder of Irgun N'shei UBnos Chabad and the Beit Chanah institution, and helped establish Shikun Chabad in Jerusalem.
R. Azriel Zelig Slonim was born in Hebron to R. Ze'ev Dov, grandson of Rebbetzin Menuchah Rachel Slonim, daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe of Lubavitch. He was orphaned at a young age of his father, and at the age of 15, in 1913, he travelled to study in the Tomchei Temimim yeshiva in Lubavitch. R. Azriel Zelig was a household member of Rebbe Rashab, and ate at his table on Shabbat and festivals. In 1918, following the civil war, he went to study in the Kherson branch of Tomchei Temimim, in Ukraine. In Kherson, he drew close to the renowned Chassid Reb Itche der Masmid and with his encouragement, began going round the Jewish colonies in the Kherson district, giving classes on Chassidut. Amongst others, he was active in the Nahar Tov colony (Nagartav, Bereznegovatoye County), R. Itche's town. He would travel from time to time for the festivals to the Rashab in Rostov, and after the latter's passing, he continued travelling to his son and successor, the Rayatz. After Pesach 1922, he returned to Eretz Israel and settled in Jerusalem. He was appointed mashpia in the Tzemach Tzedek synagogue in the Old City, and married Mrs. Chaya Feigel (daughter of his sister Sheinah Mushka and her husband R. Moshe Shlomo Kahana Shapira, descendant of the Megaleh Amukot). In 1924, with the encouragement and instructions of the Rayatz (in the present letter), he began serving as emissary and travelled throughout the world. During the course of this mission, he raised funds, disseminated Judaism and Chassidut, and worked in outreach. He reached the most far-flung communities, and worked on establishing Mikvaot, appointing rabbis and shochetim and setting up classes on Torah and Chassidut. In 1924, he took part in founding Agudas Chassidei Chabad in America and Canada. At the end of one of his missions, the Rayatz commented: "Zelig is capable of making things happen". Upon concluding his mission in Australia in 1940, R. Azriel Zelig returned to Jerusalem and devoted himself to Chabad communities in Eretz Israel. He was the trustee of Chabad property in Eretz Israel, and maintained continuous correspondence with Rebbetzin Shterna Sarah wife of the Rashab and Rebbetzin Nechama Dina wife of the Rayatz. He passed away on Chol HaMoed Sukkot and was buried on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem. Many of his descendants serve as Chabad Shlichim and rabbis in communities throughout the world.
The letter was published in Igrot Kodesh of the Rayatz (vol. I, letter 167), based on a picture of this letter appearing in the book Migdal Oz (p. 18).
 leaf. 21 cm. Good condition. Folding marks. Filing holes, tears and open tears, repaired with paper (not affecting text). Stains.